Eat Your Veggies, Fido!

August 27, 2012

Dogs are obligate carnivores and as such, they need a diet high in protein.  However, vegetables play an important role in keeping Fido healthy.  Veggies contain antioxidants and a multitude of nutrients that promote his well-being.

Vegetables assist the dog’s digestive system and provide fiber.  Those leafy green veggies, like spinach and broccoli, work for our dogs, just as they do for humans.  Broccoli is loaded with Vitamin C and calcium, and spinach is a source of iron and antioxidants.  Carrots are also high in nutrients and are a good choice for dogs.

My dogs were eating sweet potatoes long before I knew what was good for them.  Now, I peel and slice fresh sweet potatoes , brush them with olive oil and bake them for treats for Maggie and Gator..  This vegetable rarely causes canine allergies and is easily digested.

Corn should never be included n a dog’s diet, because many animals are either allergic to it or have difficulty digesting it.  The few nutrients and small amount of protein it contains aren’t enough to make up for the potential trouble corn could cause.

Canned pumpkin can be fed to dogs in small amounts.  This veggie helps calm diarrhea.  Add a little bit to Fido’s food twice a day until his digestive system is back to normal.

Green beans serve a useful purpose in a canine diet.  Full of nutrients but few calories, they provide a healthy filler for an animal that needs to lose weight.  My dogs like green beans as a treat or reward.

Pay attention to the placement of vegetables on the pet food label.  Ingredients with the most weight will be listed first.  Meats should come first – preferably 2 high-quality meats – and then vegetables should be close behind to be certain that Fido is getting most nutritional value from his food.

Watch out for foods containing white rice or white potatoes.  If either is listed on the ingredients’ label, they should be near the bottom of the list, so the amount is small.

Look for healthy commercial dog foods containing green and yellow veggies to add extra vitamins and antioxidants to your pet’s menu.

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